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Path to 2012 London Olympics goes through Turkey

Apr 2, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT

LeBron James is too busy. Dwyane Wade has a lot of personal stuff going on. A number of other top NBA players are questioning if they want to play in the FIBA World Championships this summer in Turkey.

Jerry Colangelo, president of USA Basketball, has stepped in to play stern parent. You want the pudding of the 2012 London Olympics, you’ve got to eat your meat at the FIBA event, he told FanHouse.

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

“There are no free tickets to London,” said Colangelo, who announced a working 27-man roster in February with the thinking those players would commit to this year’s World Championships and the 2012 Olympics, with the additional possibility players might be needed for a 2011 Olympic qualifying tournament if Team USA doesn’t mine gold in Turkey. “That doesn’t mean nobody could (return to the team) if they didn’t participate (in Turkey). It all depends on the reason. We’ve taken into account players have personal lives.”

To recap: Recovering from injury, good excuse not to play. Serious personal issues like a nasty divorce, maybe. Making a movie… not so much.

James can play in London if he wants because he has put in a lot of past time with Team USA, he has sweat equity. That and he’s the best player on the planet.

But there are just a couple players who get to call their own shots on this (Kobe Bryant being the other). Everybody else has to eat their meat.

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